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Amid the ongoing shutdown of the global concert business, IQ showcases its association partners, whose work is more vital now than ever
By IQ on 06 Oct 2020
Covid-19 has impacted every business sector around the world, but with live entertainment likely to be one of the last industries to return, given social distancing regulations, the associations that represent its millions of employees have never been more important.
As restrictions in many countries enter yet another month, for issue 91 IQ found out more about some of our association partners and discovered just what they are doing to help their members navigate and survive.
Following the last instalment with the National Arenas Association, Plasa and Prodiss, this time we check in with the Production Services Association, Svensk Live and French trade union SMA.
Production Services Association (UK)
The Production Services Association (PSA) is the UK trade body for companies and individuals that provide and operate live event technology, representing their interests with anyone that indirectly affects their business.
In February, when it paused counting, the PSA had about 2,300 paid members with annual fees ranging from £100 (€112) to £500 (€560).
The association’s members started to feel the effects of the pandemic long before the UK government began to introduce support measures. Companies went into survival mode very quickly, and PSA did its level best to add to industry calls for support. When the cavalry arrived, it was a case of pointing people in the direction of help, and taking feedback back to government on where improved measures were needed.
With everyone thrust into an alien world of loans, grants, job retention schemes and benefits, real-world feedback from people who were plugged into the various systems gave the PSA resources to share and the organisation has been busy collecting evidence to back up sector calls for continued support. During the pandemic, lobbying has been a key part of PSA’s work and because of its membership of UK Music, doors that others may have had to knock on were already open.
The PSA’s members started to feel the effects of the pandemic long before the UK government began to introduce support measures
Svensk Live (Sweden)
Svensk Live is a non-profit organisation with about 250 members, which include the likes of festivals, clubs, concert promoters, non-profit grassroots venues, amusement parks and booking agencies (provided they organise gigs in Sweden). Fees are based on annual revenue, with the largest organisations paying up to €5,000.
During the pandemic, Svensk Live has been focusing on securing state support, a timeframe for planning, and an official recommendation from government to persuade ticket buyers to retain their tickets for postponed events.
Outside of the pandemic measures, Svensk Live is engaged in a major project called Dare to Care, which centres around consent in sexual relations, and last year won a prize for the best crime prevention project in Sweden. Svensk Live CEO Joppe Pihlgren is happy to share details of this initiative with other live music organisations.
During the pandemic, Svensk Live has been focusing on securing state support and a timeframe for planning
The Union of Contemporary Music (SMA, Syndicat des musiques actuelles) is an organisation consisting of 450 members, including venues, festivals, concert producers, phonographic editors, radio stations, federations, schools and training centres. These independent companies share a common goal of promoting diversity, in particular by supporting the expression of artists and advocating equal access to culture.
The role of the SMA is to inform and advise its membership on legal, social and tax matters. It also represents them in numerous professional bodies and defends the interests of the music sector with public authorities and politicians.
The annual fee for access to the services provided by the SMA depends on budget and ranges from €65 to nearly €1,500 for the largest companies.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the SMA has been supporting its members through different actions, including gathering and communicating information about governmental assistance; providing daily updates on how to manage business activities; making legal experts available for consultations; encouraging cross-sector communication to identify common issues; and actively lobbying local authorities and politicians in an effort to ensure that no company disappears because of the crisis.
This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.
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